MILWAUKEE – Christian Yelich cycled his way into the record book.
Milwaukee’s streaking slugger became the first major leaguer to hit for the cycle twice in one season against the same team, driving in four runs to lead the Brewers over the Cincinnati Reds 8-0 on Monday night.
“There’s been so many great players to play this game,” said Yelich, acquired in an offseason trade with Miami. “It just shows how freaky, I guess, that is. A lot of luck goes into that. It’s hard enough to get four hits in a Major League Baseball game, yet alone have them all be the right ones and the right sequence.”
Less than three weeks after his cycle in Cincinnati, Yelich accomplished the feat against the last-place Reds once again to help the Brewers in their playoff pursuit. Milwaukee remained 2½ games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central and three games up in the wild-card race. Chicago won 5-1 at Arizona.
Yelich singled in the first inning, doubled in the second, launched a two-run homer in the fifth and completed the cycle when he added a two-run triple in the sixth. With the Brewers nursing a large lead, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
“I honestly don’t even know how to describe it,” Yelich said. “I don’t know if it’s really set in yet, but it’s definitely crazy and you try to enjoy it as much as possible. It’s nice to do it at home, too, in front of the home fans. It was a pretty exciting moment.”
Yelich’s huge second half has turned him into a top contender for the NL MVP award. He also hit for the cycle when he went 6-for-6 in a 13-12 comeback victory on Aug. 29 at Cincinnati, making him the fifth player to turn the trick twice in one season — and first in Brewers history.
“There’s no question that he’s hot right now,” Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani said. “He’s doing some amazing things. I know him from Miami. I know that he works his butt off. They all projected that he was going to be a top-of-the-league hitter. But I think if I make my pitches, I give myself a chance to get him out.”
The previous player with two cycles in one season was Aaron Hill in 2012.
Wade Miley (5-2) labored through five innings and Brandon Woodruff got his first save.
Anthony DeSclafani (7-6) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Dodgers 8, Rockies 2
In Los Angeles, Joc Pederson hit two homers, Max Muncy added a three-run shot and the Dodgers moved back into first place in the NL West with a victory over Colorado.
It was a rough night all-around for the Rockies, who lost slugging shortstop Trevor Story in the fourth inning with an elbow injury. The severity was unclear, and more tests were scheduled for Tuesday.
Dodgers starter Ryu Hyun-jin (5-3) pitched seven scoreless innings, throwing 93 pitches to match a season high. He lowered his ERA to 2.21 over seven starts since returning from a strained left groin.
Jon Gray (11-8) went two-plus innings, giving up six runs and seven hits.
Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 1
In Phoenix, Kyle Hendricks took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning and Chicago stifled Arizona in the opener of their important three-game series.
Hendricks (12-11) struck out eight and walked one. A.J. Pollock hit a leadoff homer against Hendricks in the ninth and Paul Goldschmidt added a two-out single before Justin Wilson completed the three-hitter.
Javier Baez homered in a three-run sixth that broke open a pitchers’ duel between Hendricks and Patrick Corbin (11-6).
Cardinals 11, Braves 6
In Atlanta, Kolten Wong hit the first of four St. Louis homers, Miles Mikolas won his third straight start and St. Louis beat the NL East-leading Braves to give its playoff push another boost.
St. Louis has 35 victories since the All-Star break, most in the National League, and has won two straight after losing four in a row. The Cardinals, who also got homers from Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina, began the night tied with the Dodgers for the second NL wild card.
Mariners 4, Astros 1
In Houston, rookie pinch hitter Daniel Vogelbach’s first career grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning lifted Seattle over the Astros.
The loss trimmed Houston’s lead in the AL West to four games over idle Oakland.
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 0
In Baltimore, the Orioles lost their 107th game, tied for most in a season since their arrival in 1954.
Toronto rookie Ryan Borucki (4-4) pitched eight innings of three-hit ball. The Blue Jays have won 13 of 17 games between the two bottom teams in the AL East.
Toronto stands 25 games better than the Orioles, whose 43-107 record is worst in the majors. The only other Baltimore team with 107 defeats was the 1988 club, which started 0-21 on its way to a 54-107 finish.
The franchise record for losses is 111, by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. After going 54-100 in 1953, the Browns moved to Baltimore. The major league record is 120 losses, set by the expansion New York Mets in 1962.
Mets 9, Phillies 4
In Philadelphia, Michael Conforto had a career-high six RBIs and finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Zack Wheeler pitched seven solid innings for his career-best 12th win for New York.
Conforto had a two-run single in the fifth, an RBI double in the seventh off Tommy Hunter (4-3) and a three-run homer in the ninth for the Mets, who have won 7 of 11 and are 26-17 over their last 43 games. Conforto has 75 RBIs, including 45 since the All-Star break, second most in the NL over that span behind Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich.
Marlins 8, Nationals 5
In Miami, Washington reliever Wander Suero balked in a run while the Nationals blew a four-run lead.
Washington led 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings but trailed by the end of the sixth. Suero let in the go-ahead run, balking with pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega batting and Austin Dean at third base to put Miami ahead 5-4.
Rays 3, Rangers 0
In Arlington, Texas, Tyler Glasnow allowed two infield singles in six innings for his first win since Tampa Bay traded Chris Archer to get the right-hander.
Choi Ji-man homered and drove in two runs to help the Rays improve to a major league-best 21-5 since Aug. 19. Tampa Bay started the day seven games behind Oakland for the second American League wild card.
Twins 6, Tigers 1
In Detroit, Kohl Stewart pitched six solid innings and Eddie Rosario homered for Minnesota before leaving with an injury in a victory over the Tigers.
Gabriel Moya pitched the opening inning for the Twins before Stewart (2-1) took over and worked through the seventh. He allowed an unearned run and three hits with five strikeouts.
Pirates 7, Royals 6
In Pittsburgh, Pirates rookie Jacob Stallings hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally Pittsburgh past Kansas City.
After Jordan Luplow grounded into a double play, Kevin Kramer walked and moved to second on Kevin Newman’s single. Stallings then singled off Ben Lively (0-3), scoring Kramer.
GIiants 4, Padres 2
In San Diego, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria homered off Bryan Mitchell, and left-hander Andrew Suarez pitched into the eighth inning to lead San Francisco past the Padres in a matchup of NL West teams playing out the season.
Suarez (7-11) snapped a two-start skid by holding the Padres to two runs and four hits in 7 2/3 innings. Will Smith worked the ninth for his 13th save.
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